Disclaimer: I do not own Danny Phantom, or any characters affiliated. I am not making any money off of this whatsoever.
I really must have done something terrible in a past life, because karma is really starting to bug me. Honestly, I would of thought that initial terrible shock in the ghost portal would have caught me up for every single misdeed I've ever committed, or the numerous sleepless nights spent catching ghosts and saving the lives of people who hate me, or the traumatizing experiences of both the entire world finding out my secret and meeting my really freaking evil future self. All of them combined would redeem Adolf-freaking-Hitler. But no.
You know, I somehow don't even believe in karma, anymore. After having my secret exposed - again, I might add - I was somehow snatched up by those idiots, the Guys in White. And what with the fact that I had no idea whatsoever what was going to happen to me next, please note that I was scared half to death. My life was over. I would live out the rest of it being cut open and examined like a rat, and never see my parents or my friends again.
I could actually equate this back to Vlad. If he hadn't set that bounty on me a few months ago, the GIW would of never had any kind of experience with a real ghost, and probably then, wouldn't have had the mind to gain the kind of skill they eventually had.
And knowing Vlad, he probably planned the whole thing.
I huddled in the back of the black van, watching the door warily. I had already tried phasing and blasting my way out, to no avail. How likely was it that I could fly out when they came in to get me? It sucked to have a conscious right then. Why did they have to be human?
The ride seemed to last forever. I could hear soft music playing from the driver's compartment up front, and a couple of words from the two agents seated there.
"- wish - Ivory."
Finally light peeked in as the heavy black doors opened. I struggled against my cuffs and shackles automatically. Both of the Guys climbed in and picked up me up, and I yelled protests through my gag. The sunlight hurt my eyes.
They carried me for about five minutes (I didn't may much attention as to where) before I was thrown roughly into a chair and they left. A woman sat at a chair in front of me, and between us was a handsome mahogany table. She reached across and pulled off my gag.
"Let me go," I said immediately. "Really, I'm not evil. If you're looking for a test subject, I can direct you to another guy just like me -"
She ignored me. "Hello," she said. "I'm Jane Redd. And you?"
"Please - I'm really not going to hurt anyone - my family's going to be worried -" I babbled on frantically.
"What's your name?" she asked again. No more forcefully than before. She was talking as though there was nothing wrong. For her, there probably wasn't.
I finally listened. "Danny," I said.
"That's a nice name. Short for Daniel?"
"What's your middle name?"
"James. My name's Daniel James Fenton."
She smiled, and scribbled something on a clipboard she produced seemingly from nowhere.
"Where am I?" I asked.
Though I already had a decent idea, I asked anyway. "What's that?"
"Where you'll be staying. I'll explain if you'll answer a few of my questions, sweetie."
Biting my lip, I replied, "Fine." I thought I'd cooperate so that maybe they'd let me use painkillers later on.
"How old are you?"
"What's your birthday?"
"Where are you from?"
"Amity Park, Illinois."
"What grade were you in?" The past tense bugged me. That, and the fact that she was asking me things I was sure she already knew.
"Ninth, at Casper High."
"What was your grade point average?"
"Er - 2.3."
She looked at me knowingly, then wrote it down.
"Just a few more." Ms. Redd smiled at me. Again. "I know this probably annoys the heck out you, right?"
I glared, slightly. "Honestly, yes. Don't you already know this stuff? You're the government. You have access to all of my medical records and stuff."
"True, but we still have to ask. Now, do you have any allergies?"
"Fears?"That was not something I wanted to go into. Partly because it was mortifying, and partly because who knew how they were going to use it against me? "I'd rather not say," I said carefully.
She sighed, and put down her clipboard. "I know this is difficult for you Danny, and that I'm the enemy here, but cooperation is key to getting through this."
"What's there to get through? I'm going to be here for the rest of my life, aren't I?"
"Probably. But from what I've heard of you, you're a very resilient young man. Now, do you have any fears? I'm sure you do."
I stared down at the table. What else could I really do but tell her? "I guess I'm terrified of, well, becoming evil." Never mind the whole 'my secret gets out' bit. That's already been done.
Jane smiled sadly and wrote it down. "You're not the first person to say that. Now, look, I've written up some comments on your temperament. You can look at them, if you want. People act differently when they're angry and scared, so tell me if you're usually different."
She handed me the clipboard, and I scanned down to the bottom of the page. "Cooperative - slightly reserved," was all that was written.
"Yeah, that's fine." What else was I supposed to say? It was a ridiculous thing to be asked in the first place. 'How do you act when you're not about to be tortured?'
She pulled it back. "You can ask me any questions you want to, now. I'm sure you're dying to know a few things." She smiled briefly, then pulled a hand over her mouth. "I didn't just offend you, did I? That wasn't some kind of faux pas, was it?"
It took me a minute to realize just what she was talking about. Then I nearly died laughing - no pun intended. "No, lady, most common phrases do not offend me. Feel free to say 'you look like you've see a ghost,' 'pale as a ghost,' 'deathly white,' 'dying to know,' and any other ghost or death related saying."
Why was she being so nice? Who knew, who cared? It wasn't going to last long.
She looked relieved. "That's . . . good to know. Now, don't you have some questions?"
"Yeah. What the heck is Mt. Ivory?"
"It's a holding facility. For people kind of like you. Special people."
"In essence, yes."
"And what's going to happen to me?" Why did I bother asking? The answer was likely going to involve pain. And a lot of it.
"You're going to live. Beyond just a few things, you're going to live relatively peacefully."
. . . Huh? Lies, all lies, I was sure . . .
"Every now and then various people will want a blood sample, or to perform some exploratory surgery. That's the extent of the experimentation. I'm sure you were expecting more, but don't worry. Beyond that, you'll have free reign over a large part of the building, access to full medical and dental treatment, your own private apartment, and a huge selection of food."
"But I can't leave."
"But you can't leave."
"And what about my family, and my friends?"
"You have one fifteen-minute phone call every month. They'll all be censored, but it's better than nothing. They can write you back, as well."
This was truly mind-boggling. It seemed that I wasn't going to be tortured and cut open and all that. But . . .
"What's the point to all this? Why even take me in if you're going to just treat me like a houseguest?"
"You have to understand that we're not nearly as prejudiced as groups like the Guys in White. We're keeping you here for the safety of the people on the outside. The normal people." What a talented self-esteem builder this women was.
"But I -"
"- am not evil. I know, I know, I know. But it's possible that one day you will be. People go power mad. It happens."
I didn't respond at first. The image of me - future me - destroying Amity Park flitted across my mind. She was right. It was possible.
"What about Amity? I've been protecting them for so long now. The ghosts will invade, and I won't be there to stop them."
Jane gave me a long hard look. "Danny, I don't know what to tell you."
I swallowed. There really was nothing I could do at the moment, and I really didn't need or want to know anymore. "I guess that's all," I said quietly.
"Then I'll see you tomorrow," she said.
"I'm your therapist. You'll be coming in for daily sessions. Mark and Lewis will take you to your room, and one of them will give you a tour tomorrow."
"Yeah. Wait. What am I doing? I just sat here and . . ." I pulled at my handcuffs desperately, fear finally overtaking me. "This isn't fair. I never did anything."
"But I didn't do anything. I sacrificed nearly everything to save people like you, and . . ."
"You existed," she repeated. I stared. "It's not fair, but it's true. I've been a psychologist for quite awhile, Danny. You - you're new. You're unknown. So you're terrifying, and you're dangerous. And so you're here."
I calmed down, slightly, but I was still angry. Mark and Lewis came up behind me and I stood up. I let them lead me down a labyrinth of hallways before they shoved me through a door, took off my cuffs, and locked me in my new apartment.
All I could do was wonder if Ms. Redd was right.